[Ontbirds]Presqu'ile Hud Godwit, Little Gull, tons of dead ducks

Doug McRae rdmcrae at sympatico.ca
Sun Oct 10 18:56:31 EDT 2004


Greeting all,

I spent several hours at the park today and saw several birds of
interest:

1 juv. Hudsonian Godwit - same as previous few days - ranges entire
beach length plus Gull Island
1 adult Little Gull - flying offshore from lighthouse
1 Red-necked Grebe - offshore from lighthouse
2 Black-t Blue Warbler - female at lighthouse, male at base of Owen Pt.
1 Black-t Green Warbler - at lighthouse
3 Blue-h Vireo - lighthouse

The dead birds continue to wash ashore, with today being particularly
bad, especially for R-b Mergansers.  A complete census of the beach
revealed the following dead birds:

32 Red-breasted Merganser
9 Ww Scoter
1 G Scaup
1 Rn Grebe
1 H Grebe
2 Com Loon
2 Rb Gull
1 Herring Gull

As usual the gulls, grebes and loons are wasted, as were some of the
scoters.  The mergansers looked perfect and I could find nothing to
suggest the cause (ie: no broken wings or obvious shot holes in the
webbing, beak, etc.), yet they seemed relatively heavy which doesn't fit
with the presumed botulism pattern.  Hopefully analysis will reveal the
cause of death.

Cheers,

Doug McRae

Directions:  Presqu'ile is best reached by taking the Brighton exit from
Hwy. 401 then follow south into town.  From Brighton watch for and
follow the provincial park signs.




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